Native Village 

Youth and Education News

March 1, 2006 Issue 165  Volume 1

"Laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh." Larry P. Aitken, Chippewa

Nez Perce Youth Reclaim Bison Hunting Tradition
Montana:  An 1855 treaty with the Nez Perce gave the U.S. thousands of acres of land. That same treaty gave the Nez Perce the right to "forever" hunt buffalo on the tribe's hunting grounds.  However, with tragic declines in both the bison and tribe's populations, the Nez Perce buffalo hunts ended in the 19th century.  This year, those hunts resumed.  On Feb. 4, 2006, 17-year-old Justin Gould became the first Nez Perce Indian in 140 years to shoot a buffalo on his tribe's ancestral hunting lands.   "There was so much adrenaline, I had to wait to make sure my hands didn't shake," Gould said.  " I wanted to make sure I got a good shot."  It wasn't only a good shot; it was a historic shot.  It was called a "great day for Indian people"  by the hunt's quality control officer.  " I pray that we will be able to connect with our past," he said.  " I pray for our future, that this will be taken in a good way and not a negative way.  I hope people can learn by having our children at the forefront of something historic.  This is a day that can never be taken away from them, something they'll take when they meet their maker and will be able to report to their ancestors and make them proud."
H-Amindian List serve

Running down through the centuries: The Hopi way

Arizona: Today Hopi runners are traveling 2,000 miles to the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City this month.  They carry jubilant messages about Black Mesa Trust forcing the worlds' largest coal company to stop pumping and polluting Hopi Water for their business.  They are also honoring 19 Hopi leaders imprisoned at Alcatraz in 1895. The Hopi had  refused to let the government take their children to schools for the "civilizing" process.
History of Hopi Runners
For centuries Hopi men and boys have run back and forth from mesa-top pueblos to their cornfields 500 feet below;
Running is a part of many Hopi ceremonies; it is connected with bringing life-giving rain to the land;
Before horses, Hopi hunters ran great distances at great speeds to capture game;
Running was also a way to carry messages long distances.  In 1903, Charlie Talawepi ran a message from Orabi to Keams Canyon. The round-trip distance was 72 miles.  He ran it in 36 hours.
At the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Hopi runners carried messages to nearby pueblos that called all warriors to battle.  The pueblos defeated the Spanish Missionaries;
In 1912, Louis Tewanima won an Olympic silver medal for distance running;
In 1927, Hopi runner Nicholas Quamawahu won the Long Beach - New York marathon.

Navajo Sees Miss USA Pageant as Step in Her Journey
New Mexico: Owana Lacy will wear the Miss New Mexico sash during this year's Miss USA contest.  Owana, who is half Anglo and half Navajo, is the first member of the Navajo Nation to compete in the Miss USA pageant. The University of New Mexico student says the Miss USA contest is another step in her journey to learn about herself through the pageant stage.  Raised mostly with her non-Navajo relatives, Lacy longed to understand her Indian side, and took elementary Navajo as a language credit in high school. "Being biracial, it has been a struggle for me to know who I am," Lacy said.  "That is when I really thought of pageantry as an avenue to learn the language and culture."   Lacy entered several contests and won 2003's Miss Indian World pageant, the most prestigious contest in Indian Country.  After her reign was over, she decided to enter mainstream pageants where she earned the Miss New Mexico title.  Now she is preparing for the Miss USA pageant.   "Being the first Native American Miss New Mexico USA has really opened my eyes to the lack of knowledge of Native American culture in mainstream America,"  Lacy said.  If Lacy wins, she'll make national history as the first American Indian Miss USA.  "I want to enlighten people about how we live on a day-to-day basis and share that cultural knowledge," Lacy said. The Miss USA Pageant will be televised on April 21.  Following her reign as either Miss New Mexico or Miss USA,  Lacy will return to UNM and study law.  

Sacred Run from California to Washington, DC
California:  The Sacred Run has its roots in Native tradition of running to share knowledge and join in partnership.  On February 11, runners and supporters gathered on Alcatraz,  then rallied at  DQ-University, before beginning a 3-month Sacred Run to Washington, DC.   This Sacred Run promotes the need to honor and protect the sacred relationship between Mother Earth and all other living things.   “I am running for my loved ones and family, and to represent my people and where I come from," said 20-year-old Greg Feather of the PIt River Nation.  The Sacred Run includes people from many Native nations, states and foreign countries including Japan, Ireland and Australia.  Runners will cover 12 states and many Native communities before arriving in Washington, DC on Earth Day, April 22, 2006. Sacred Runs have taken place in CA, Alaska, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Russia, Japan and other places.

Oldest moccasin in Canada found in Yukon ice patch
Yukon:   A 1,400-year old moccasin has been discovered in a Yukon ice patch.  "This is truly an amazing discovery," said Elaine Taylor, Tourism and Culture Minister.  "It is a significant addition to the wealth of archaeological artifacts that have been found at Yukon ice patches.  We are pleased that work being done in partnership with our department and six First Nations has produced an artifact of such importance."  Named "The Ice Patch Moccasin," it's Canada's oldest moccasin and was found in 2003 by Cody Joe of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations."We are delighted that it was one of our young people who found their ancestor's belonging," said Chief James Allen said.  "This project gives our young people a sense of belonging and a clear connection to their ancestors."  At first, researchers thought the pieces were  a hunting bag.  They kept it frozen until Conservator Valery Monahan could clean and assemble the pieces.   After 240 hours of painstaking work, Monahan realized the pieces formed a moccasin.
Ice Patch Moccasin - Background
The moccasin is 1440 +/- 40 years old, making it the oldest known moccasin found in Canada;
It is approximately 1,200 years older than known examples of early Yukon footwear;
The Ice Patch Moccasin is among an extremely few pre-European worked-hide objects found in Canada.  Most other examples relate to ancestral the Inuit culture;
All "early" Yukon moccasins date from after European trade/contact, so they may have European materials and designs.  This moccasin clearly pre-dates any European trade or contact.
The moccasin is even rarer as it comes from the boreal forest;
It was likely made and worn by early Athapaskan people;
The moccasin is the first sewn hide object to be found in an ice patch.

Ancient blubber gives  scientists something to chew on
Alaska:  Last summer Douglas Henry  found a slab of mangtak -- whale blubber with skin -- in a food cache.  The 27-year-old Gambell resident knew it was old, but he never imaged its actual age. Thanks to help from carbon dating,  the blubber is estimated to be 1030-1070 years old.  "I thought it might have been 500 or so years old, but over 1,000 -- that's quite amazing," Henry said.  Henry  found the blubber, a 24-inch x 24-inch x 10-inch-thick slab, about 8-10 feet down.  The meat was encased in 6 feet of firm ice.  "It took me three days of chipping the ice away to get  to it," he said.  Whaling captain Merlin Koonooka was not surprised at the blubber's age since some whaling harpoons have been dated to be 2,000 years old.  "We've told people from outside that we've been doing this for a long time.  Now we have good proof for that claim."  Koonooka said.  "We're trying to save our subsistence way, our way of whaling.  It's our way of life.  This dating proves that we have done this for a  very long time."

Indians Honor Colonial-Era Tribal Leader  
Brazil:  The Guarani Indians were the dominant people in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and northern Argentina before Europeans invasion.  Recently, thousands of them marched 900 miles to Rio De Janeiro where, in 1756, chief Sepe Tiaraju was killed by Portuguese and Spanish soldiers.  Upon their arrival, Guarani marchers called for the "resurrection" of their nations.  The marchers also carried signs saying "Our forefathers illuminate our path for the recuperation of the Guarani land" and "Memory and resistance."
H-Amindian Listserve

Oldest Cree man passes away
Quebec: Matthew Coon Come Sr., the oldest known Quebec Cree man and one of Canada's oldest citizens, recently passed away.  Matthew, who was 114,  is the grandfather of Matthew Coon Come, former head of the Assembly of First Nations.   Julie Winnefred Bertrand, born Sept. 16, 1891, is the oldest living Canadian and sixth oldest person in the world.

Coeur d'Alene tribal elder dies at 104 
Idaho: Ann Antelope Samuels, the eldest member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, has died at age 104.  Samuels was born on April 18, 1901 at Lake Chatcole before the U.S.  removed the tribe from their homelands on the lake.  The  tribal schools' yearly  "Antelope Run," which honors past Coeur d'Alene long distance runners, was named for Samuel's grandfather, Chief Morris Antelope. Ann launched each run by presenting a staff for the lead runner to pass in a the 31-mile relay.

PERU: Uncontacted Indians flee as loggers invade 
Peru:  Illegal loggers in Purús National Park are causing large numbers of uncontacted Indians to flee their traditional territories. Included are the Piro Indians, who have been forced across the border into Brazilian territory occupied by isolated Brazilian tribes.   FUNAI officials (Brazil's department of Indian affairs) worry that the Piro may contact diseases for which they have no resistance.  FUNAI also worries about conflicts among the isolated tribes who are now competing for resources.   According to José Carlos Meirelles from FUNAI,  illegal loggers and settlers are rapidly invading and destroying what was once "an untouched sanctuary and refuge for uncontacted peoples. "  Officials believe the Piro have about 300 members and move around to satisfy their hunting needs. The three uncontacted Indian groups on the Brazilian side of the border are not nomadic and live in large malocas and plant crops in gardens.  They too have suffered from periodic invasion of their land, and in June 2000 shot at a group of uncontacted Indians in the Alto Tarauaca river, killing one of them

Ancient Tongue Linked to Aztec Past

California:  Although he's lived in California for 15 years, David Vazquez still speaks and teaches his native language, Nahuatl.  Nahuatl, (NAH-wa-tl, with the ‘l’ nearly silent), was spoken by the ancient Aztecs. It's still spoken in different forms by more than 25,000 Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and 1,000,000 people in central Mexico.   For Vazquez and his students, learning the language is a way to link themselves to Mexico's core.  "Promoting this language helps preserve my culture," he said.  "This is our mother tongue and offers a direct route to express yourself and understand the culture."  More Mexican Americans in Southern California are learning the language "as a journey to their past," said Lupe Lopez, from the Indigenous Peoples Alliance, an organization that offers the classes.  Books are being published in Nahuatl and classes are offered throughout Southern California, she said.
Los Angeles Times

  Census report offers insight into Native American life today
In the Census 2000 report:
More people claiming American Indian heritage identify with the Cherokees than any other tribe;
4,300,000 people, (1.5% of the total U.S. population) reported they were American Indian and Alaska Native;
Of those.
2,447,989 (1%) reported ONLY American Indian or Alaska Native status;
302,569 of those reporting NA/AN status report they are Cherokee;
276,775  of those reporting NA/AN status report they are Navajo;
40,487 of those reporting NA/AN status report they are Creek;
Those who claim themselves as Native and another ethnic group(s) shows
875,000 part Cherokees and 310,000 part-Navajos.
--- 33% of AI/AN  population are under age 18, (26% of the total population);
12.4% of the total population was 65 and older;
The median age
is 29 years for AI/AN  compares to the national median of 35 years;
---AI/AN had a higher percentage of single parent households than the total population;
More than
25% of Sioux, Pueblo, and Navajo households are maintained by women with no husband present;
42% of Eskimo households were married-couple families;
31% of  Alaskan Athabascan households were married couple families.
---72% of AI/AN individuals 5 years and older spoke only English at home;
18% spoke a language other than English at home, yet spoke English “very well”;
10%  spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English less than “very well;”
More than
90% of Cherokee, Chippewa, Creek, Iroquois, Lumbee, and Tlingit- Haida spoke only English at home;
25% of Navajo spoke a non-English language at home and spoke English less than “very well”;
91% of Haida spoke only English at home;
53% of Eskimo spoke only English at home.
---71% of American Indians and Alaska Natives 25 and older had at least a high school education, compared with 80% of the total population.
11% of the AI/AN  population had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 24% of all people.
---The labor force participation rate for AI/AN men is
66% compared to 71% for all men;
The labor force participation rate for AI/AN  women is
57%, compared to 58%
for all women.

  Volume 2

 Native Village Home Page

Native Village is published with the generous help and support of friends, listserves, and online publications.
Without you, Native Village would not exist.  Megwich to you all.

To join our mailing list and receive news update reminders, send email address to:
To contact Native Village staff, email:

Native Village Linking Policy
Our research, study and resource collections cover a lot of Internet territory! We do our best to screen all links and select only those we designate "kidsafe" and appropriate. However, Native Village does not control the content found on third-party sites, so we are not always aware when content changes. If you discover a link that contains inappropriate information, please contact us immediately.  In addition, please be aware that each linked site maintains its own independent data collection, policies and procedures. If you visit a Web site linked from Native Village, you should consult that site's privacy policy before providing it with any personal information.
For more information about keeping kids safe online, please read about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and educational purposes only.

Native Village © Gina Boltz

All rights reserved